The Awesome of: 4th of July weekend

4th of July weekend was more than spectacular. I had the opportunity to go back to Oshkosh, Wisconsin and visit my parents. While their house is close to being a disaster zone due to their moving preparations, it was still the same cozy space that I grew up knowing. While my bed wasn’t assembled, I still had a place to rest my head in the corner of my parent’s bedroom on my old twin mattress. After sleeping on there for 4 nights, I realized why I asked for a new bed when I moved into my apartment this year. My days were filled with cleaning out boxes and tubs of old childhood memorabilia and laying poolside, trying to not be the palest individual in Minnesota. I think I’ve accomplished this goal. Needless to say, my weekend at home was pretty great. Here’s a recap of the awesome:

1.) Farmers Market on Main Street. Farmer’s markets are one of my very favorite things in life. I just love walking around and seeing all of the awesome stuff that people have grown and support local farmers. I am a wishful thinker and one of my dreams is to have my own garden one day, without killing it. Since I sometimes forget to feed myself, I don’t know if I’m in the right stage of life to have to care for something else, even if it is a garden. The Oshkosh Farmers Market has grown over the past year as they are now shutting down a section of Main Street in downtown Oshkosh to run this show. I came away with some delicious strawberries, yellow zucchini, and freshly baked bread, and of course we got our fair share of spring rolls. Some of the best are from Oshkosh. If all of these tasty finds weren’t enough, I also ran into some old friends and softball teammates. This was quite the surprise since I never see anyone in Oshkosh because I pretty much only have time to spend with my parents when I am home for a weekend. This was nice because I was able to make some plans with old high school friends to reunite and reminisce about our past and begin to partake in each others futures once again.

2.) Reconnecting with old friends. I had the opportunity to chat over a glass of wine with one of my good friends from high school, Brad. He’s amazing. Seriously, watch out for this kid because he’s doing his thing and won’t stop until he sees the world and makes a difference. He hasn’t lost his drive since high school, on the contrary, it’s probably deeper than it ever has been. Then on Monday evening, I had the chance to grab dinner with another good friend, Jenny. Since last time I’ve seen her, she’s moved twice and has gotten engaged. And probably by the time I see her next, she will be married, graduated from college, and moved to Madison. She’s flying-it’s amazing to see her building such an awesome life for herself and hubby-to-be. The one thing that I have realized is that no matter how long it’s been since I’ve spoken or see some of my high school friends, we can still get together and have a laugh about the past and look forward. While we’ve all built our separate lives from each other, we were all once apart of each others story and I’m thankful that they’ve helped me become who I am today.

3.) Poolside day and night. One of my favorite things about my parent’s house is the deck [built with the labor, love, and sweat of my very own Pops] and the pool. Our house doesn’t have air conditioning so as a trade-off, my parents decided to put a pool in the backyard. Awesome trade-off, if I say myself. This pool has gotten loads of use over the years with softball parties, graduation parties, cookouts, etc, so it was nice to be able to use it everyday while I was home. Like I mentioned before, I got some color. I’m no bronzed model, but I’m not the color of a polar bear any more! This is good.

4.) Grilling out. A summer favorite of mine is grilling out. On the menus for the weekend: ribs, barbecue chicken, potatoes and onions, grilled peaches with olive oil, Oktoberfest brats, and yellow zucchini. Yum. Yum. Yum. Of course there was pasta salad, [lettuce] salad from the garden, fruit salad…it seems to me that we are a salad family.

5.) Spending time with the best. I was enamored with the time I was able to spend with friends and family. Of course I hung out with Moms and Pops, Melissa, Megan, Holly, and Vicki, and a handful of others who make my life so sweet. We braved Dirtball Sawdust Days together, my parents danced to whatever bluegrass was playing, and sat and watched the fireworks show. Sweet memories with sweet people.

6.) Last, but certainly not least: Fireworks. I have decided [this weekend] that fireworks are another of my most favorite things in life. They are so loud you can feel it in your chest, so bright they make your eyes sparkle, and so awesome for a moment you lose yourself in the sight. The fireworks show in Oshkosh was fantastic. 45 minutes of booms, ahhhs, claps, and smiles. Pure awesome.

Do not let this picture fool you. I was actually not in New York this weekend, I was in Oshkosh, Wisconsin-or better known as "OshVegas".

So that was my recap of all things awesome over the 4th of July weekend. I hope that you had a blessed weekend filled with fun, friends, family, and food…oh and you can’t forget fireworks because you can never forget sparkly things.

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